‘Cats run towards GLIAC’s

CHAMPIONSHIP+MEET%E2%80%94The+Wildcats+look+to+dethrone+Grand+Valley+State%2C+the+program+that+has+won+every+GLIAC+championship+this+century.+Photo+courtesy+of+NMU+Athletics.

CHAMPIONSHIP MEET—The Wildcats look to dethrone Grand Valley State, the program that has won every GLIAC championship this century. Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics.

Sadie Brink

The NMU Women’s Track and Field team travels to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) to compete in the GLIAC Championship meet on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, Feb. 29.

Along with the Wildcats, all GLIAC foes will be there including Ashland, Davenport, Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Northwood, Purdue-Northwest, Saginaw Valley State, Wayne State and Wisconsin-Parkside. Head Coach Jenny Ryan and her team will be in the mix in the championships, but they will have to get through a few other squads.

“It will be a fight for fourth between Davenport, Ferris State, Wayne State and us,” Ryan said.

After finishing third a year ago, it will be an uphill climb for NMU to overpass this year for second place. However, with senior leaders such as Katelyn Smith, the ‘Cats have a chance.

“We took third last year. However we did lose a lot of heavy hitters in terms of point scoring with the graduating seniors last spring,” she said. “Everyone needs to show up mentally and physically, ready to compete and improve upon previous marks.”

The last time the Wildcats were in action was at the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, Michigan, where they also compete this weekend, Ryan talked about the strides they made as a team coming off of that meet.

“We gained some experience competing against the top athletes and are more prepared for the championship races,” Ryan said. “The team also bonded even more as a group and are working hard to make preparations for the GLIAC Championships.”

In advance of the meet, the team is working on all of the small details for final preparations of the meet, Ryan said. The Wildcats are hoping to get some rest and be healthy to have its best performances of the season. In the case of senior Hanna Torvi, she has a certain mindset and prep for this big of a meet.

“Since this is our championship meet, it’s been a goal of mine to focus on the little things as preparation. Things like making sure I’m getting enough sleep, eating three solid meals a day, stretching/ foam rolling, and trying not to get sick. This meet is kind of where all the hard work and preparation has a chance to shine and all those little steps make a difference,” Torvi said.

“As a senior especially going into my last indoor meet, I’ve tried to spend time reflecting on my goals for this meet/ the season forming a race plan for myself.”

Even though Grand Valley State has won the GLIAC Championship every year since 2000, Ryan still believes that her team could have success in certain events.

“I believe we will be successful across the board in many events,” Ryan said. “Katelyn Smith will do very well in the distance events, Paige Du Bois will do well in the 800 meters and Nina Augsten will do well in the Pentathlon. And our relays will be strong.”

With the season nearing its end, Ryan is excited to see what her team will show in the conference championship meet. The Wildcats head to the GLIAC Championship meet in Allendale, Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 29 and Sunday, March 1.

“This team has worked hard all year and is ready to have their best performances at this meet. I am very proud of this team and how well they have competed and worked for this event,” Ryan said. “They are a great group and it will be fun to see them compete.”